When it comes to guns, I am weary. Weary about writing about them. Weary about hearing about them. Weary about expecting something to happen.
I do not understand it. Despite all the attempts to make excuses and distract with nonsense, guns are clearly a problem in this country. And in this country alone. Citing incidents in other countries that happen on rare occasions does not give the epidemic of gun violence here any context to work with. It is US. The US. OUR country.
Our political system is meant to solve problems and issues, but the distorted system we have now is completely controlled by interest groups. The NRA owns the issue. They have to be consulted on every gun related issue, on every attempt at a bill. The NRA is not even a credible voice anymore. They funneled money from Russia and spent it on Trump. Their leader has been looking into a multi-million dollar home paid for by the NRA….your dues, gun owners. They are compromised, yet the politicians they own continue to do their bidding.
And meanwhile people die. Groups of 1 or 2. Groups of 3 or 4. Groups in the dozens. Groups in the 40’s. It is insane and it makes me weary.
There are often proposals for changes. But, generally, they are dismissed in the belief they will not work. How do they know that? If these bills are passed and save even just one person, is it not worth it? Sure, law abiding gun owners are going to be saddled with more paper work…punishment for our having to deal with all the criminals that circumvent all the legalities. But is a little more paperwork not worth the price of even one human life?
People who advocate for guns love to argue the nuances of why guns are necessary. Why restrictions are a Constitutional violation. Why the semantic differences on weapon appearance, or capacity, or speed of firing, or type of enhancements is worthy of hours of discussion. They all fire bullets do they not? All of them can kill people, do they not? Some of them fire bullets in very rapid succession, correct? So what more do I need to know when it comes to how people died in El Paso and Dayton?
I am not naive enough to believe that these gunsense laws will stop these massacres. I know that. But it can stop some. And even if it is just a few, it will mean that some families will be spared this tragedy. Some city will not go through what El Paso has lived these past few days. It will mean that maybe a police department will not be taxed to the breaking point.
Yes, there are other causes. Yes, there are other things to address. But the one variable here, that is different from every western nation in the world is that we own 42% of the world’s guns. And 42% of US households have at least one firearm. But the statistic that really bothers me is that just 3% of our population owns 50% of all the guns that are here. Those are arsenals, not hobbies.
We need to pass sensible gun regulation. Full and COMPLETE universal background checks (including family sales). Restriction on high capacity magazines. A ban on military type weapons (and I do not care what you call them – figure it out). Raise the age of owning a gun to 21. Nationwide red flag laws. Repeal stand your ground legislation. Repeal open carry.
To me, these are common sense legalities. Law abiding citizens should not fear this. Maybe it can cause extra paper work, but we need to accept some annoyance to have a chance to save lives.
If we can get one of these laws passed, it may open the flood gates to more and maybe even stop these mass shooters in some cases.
But let’s be very clear. This President and White Nationalists are a deadly combination. He strokes their egos. Intensifies the rhetoric in their favor. He needs to be blamed for El Paso especially. White nationalist talk combined with hateful tweets about immigrants and Latinos is painfully evident in this President.
The Pandora’s Box of White Nationalism has been opened and allowed to spread unchecked. Republican politicians are looking the other way. Trying to pretend it is not a problem.
But they are wrong. We will be saddled with this new domestic terrorism indefinitely. Hate crimes will proliferate and we continue to have possible solutions obstructed (listening Mitch?).
I am weary of the powerlessness in our government. We, the people, want something done. Our representatives, (especially Republicans) want to wait till we are distracted by something else and move on.
We can’t let that happen. Not this time. Not in 2020.
We know who is obstructing here. McConnell, the President, and Congressional Republicans in the Senate and House.
In 2020, FIRE THEM ALL!!